Geheime CIA-kampen in Europa - Raad van Europa voert onderzoek uit (en)
Strasbourg, 25.11.2005 - In an information memorandum published today, Dick Marty, the rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) who is investigating allegations about secret detention centres in Council of Europe member states, refers to suspicious movements by 31 aircraft allegedly belonging to entities with direct or indirect links to the CIA, and believed to have been used by the CIA to transport prisoners in the "war against terrorism".
According to the rapporteur, it should be possible, with the help of Eurocontrol, to establish a pattern of the movements of the aircraft concerned, which could be compared with information on, for example, the departure from Kabul of aircraft carrying prisoners. In the rapporteur's view, co-operation from Eurocontrol is vital in order to obtain, if not evidence of the existence of secret detention centres, then at least fairly clear indications that airports located in Council of Europe member states have been used for purposes which require more detailed explanations from the United States.
Mr Marty says that, using the precise co-ordinates in his possession, it should be possible to obtain, with the help of bodies such as the European Union's Satellite Centre, satellite images taken at intervals between early 2002 and the present. "This would show any new work that may have been undertaken (renovation of shacks, installation of barbed-wire fencing, watch towers etc), which could lead one to conclude that prisoners had been held there. Such a series of images could also show any recent attempts to remove traces of earlier development of facilities," explains Mr Marty. To this end, he emphasises the need for a clear statement from the governments of the member states concerned, confirming that they would have no objection to such technical methods being used in his investigation.
Mr Marty also feels that the inquiry should cover all alleged secret detention centres in Council of Europe member states. It should look not just at the issue of alleged secret detention centres of the CIA but also, for example, the situation in the North Caucasus. It should cover other aspects, too, such as the alleged use - or misuse - by the United States of facilities located in Council of Europe member states for the purposes of illegal detention, such as during the transportation of persons who have been unlawfully abducted or of prisoners to countries where they may be subjected to torture or other inhuman treatment. The inquiry, he says, will be conducted in close co-operation with the judicial authorities of the member states in which criminal investigations are under way; with the European Union and more specifically the European Parliament; with members of the US Congress, in particular Senator Kerry, who has initiated an information request by the American Senate to the Government on this issue; and with journalists and NGOs, notably Human Rights Watch.
In a declaration adopted today at the PACE Standing Committee meeting in Bucharest, the Parliamentary Assembly stressed that the purpose of the inquiry was to establish the truth, not to "accuse" or to "sanction" one or more countries. "A clear and strong message must be sent: even in the name of the 'war on terror', illegal and inhuman practices in relation to the arrest, transportation and detention of persons, even if they are suspected of terrorism, cannot and will not be tolerated in any member or observer country of the Council of Europe", states bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and international treaties on the prevention of torture.
Communication Unit of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
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